LOWELL -- After a disastrous winter and a less-than-ideal spring growing season, the damaged greens at Long Meadow Golf Club finally seem to making a comeback.
The harsh New England winter struck Long Meadow extremely hard, with the poa annua grass on the greens dying off in dramatic fashion.
The club is still using nine temporary greens, as it has all spring, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"The last five days have been good," said long-time LMGC head pro Gene Manley. "They were all brown before, but they're coming back.
"The plan right now is to have them open for Memorial Day and there should be no problem for the Cities."
The second round of the Lowell City Tournament will be held at Long Meadow on Saturday, June 21. The first round is June 20 at Mt. Pleasant and the final round Wednesday, June 25 at Vesper CC.
While some clubs, such as Vesper, had little or no winter kill on their greens, many New England courses experienced problems.
Mt. Pleasant has a temporary green at the fifth hole, several courses in New Hampshire and Maine had varying degrees of damage, and even elite private courses like Winchester CC and Salem CC weren't spared. Salem may not open for full play until August, Manley said.
Long Meadow has worked an agreement with Four Oaks CC in Dracut and Nabnassett CC in Westford that allows members to play there at reduced rates. On Monday, there were a handful of groups out on the Havilah Street course, including a women's league, but all were putting on closely-mowed fairways in front of the usual greens, where the flagsticks flew.
Manley said the fifth and eighth holes were hardest hit. The ninth green on Monday seemed to be in fairly good condition, although not ready for heavy traffice. The practice putting surface and a number of other greens are still struggling.
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